Tribute to a School

When you have a brand new baby
and your mom dies during your first-born’s first-week of kindergarten
you never forget the steady presence of
and gratitude swells  your heart forever.

And when that same kindergartener moves to first grade,
you thank HIS lucky stars, it’s
because no matter how distracted he is
she will find a way to love him.

And when the classrooms change and
becomes his teacher for the 4th year in a row
it’s no matter-
for with her, his thirst for learning is unquenchable.

And though, like most parents, you fear the demands of
you watch your son take charge
of himself and his work
with a glad heart
–and yours tugs when it’s time for him to leave this room;
though he, surprisingly, is

Ready and eager to move closer to the doors
that lead out of Marlboro Elementary School…

And there,
like a butterfly
transforms from a child to young man
confidence & VOICE
so that you hardly think on teachers anymore
because with their art & skill, the learning has become his.

Rachel & Tim
could be the names of any of the souls
who have traveled the months or years
or even a lifetime on the path of learning–
like the preschool faces of Timmy & Zoe and Ferne

And you can’t help but flash on all those
named and unnamed–
board members and budget voters and volunteers;
parents & friends; coaches & subs…
ALL those who have caressed his movement
along the learning way
like the tiny cilia moving an egg
toward its fullest

Mr. H, a lifeline, since day one
and Charlene’s music & dancing, from age 2
and Lauren with her smile
and there’s Pedro & Pam
David Tasgal & Ann
Nurses Susan & Whitney
Cindy to Wendy to Trowell to Chris
Wayne to Tim
Connie to Craig to Francie
Johnnie and Kirsten
Joanne to Janie & Christine

and ALL
the precious classroom assistants
who made it possible for a kid who preferred blocks until age 7
to learn to read
in HIS own time
so that now we must rip the books from his hands
to remind him to eat and to do chores and to talk
when once—TALKING– was all he did!

And was it poor Judy? or Jodi?
who gave the month of March over
to reading and no other pursuit (including homework!)
so that the words he once put OUT
FINALLY began to POUR in

And soon his classroom became
Cape Cod & New York
Costa Rica & DC
and marches on Capitols
lining up for rallies
door to door for a President

Leading to this moment where we find him
through the
EXIT of “old” MES
under the careFULL gaze of Gail

And home he’ll come
one last time
through yellow doors
delivered safely
once by Laura, forever by Gail
and seamlessly on toward Jackie.

I know now that it takes
to raise a child.

I’m so glad
that I chose

In gratitude for Lloyd’s 12 years of education in Marlboro, Vermont with special mention to Paul Redmond at Meetinghouse School where it all began!

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